Minecraft has been around for many years now. This is most likely due to the regularity of updates being released that introduce new features to the game. Since those updates may take some time, players might get bored in the meantime. While some use mods or texture packs to individualize their world and make it more exciting than Vanilla Minecraft, others wait patiently for the new update to be released. Snapshots in Minecraft are the solution that combines both: altering the original world of Minecraft and waiting for the next update.
Minecraft Snapshots Overview:
- unfinished versions of upcoming updates
- released mostly on Wednesday
- only available in Java Edition
- specific names
- way of detecting & reporting bugs
What is a Minecraft Snapshot?
Minecraft Snapshots are periodically released and are unfinished versions of upcoming updates. They allow you to test new features at an early stage in the game’s developmental process. If you find bugs, you can report them directly to Mojang and support development at the same time.
Playing Minecraft as a Beta Version: Minecraft Snapshots
Many developers release beta versions of their games to ensure compatibility with different systems and to track down and remove as many bugs as possible early on. Mojang goes a step further and provides Minecraft players with (almost) weekly updated insights into the current state of development. These test versions are called snapshots in Minecraft of the upcoming update. When development is almost complete, they are replaced by pre-releases of the update. Minecraft snapshots appear mostly on Wednesdays.
Minecraft Snapshots: Names
Encountering a Minecraft snapshot, you will soon realize that they have specific names. We’ll explain how these names are created, using one of the latest MC snapshots at the moment:
- eg. 23w18a (for Minecraft 1.20)
Basically, the name consists of 3 parts that are quite easy to understand. It starts with 23 to indicate the year in which it is released. Older Minecraft snapshots therefore start with 20, 21 oder 22. The next information comes from w18. This means ‘week 18’ of the year 2023. Lastly, the a is an identifying letter. The first snapshot in a week has an ‘a’, any potential second one has a ‘b’ and so on. Most of the time, there is only one Minecraft snapshot per week. Therefore, snapshot 23w18a is the first one in the 18th week in 2023.
How to Install Minecraft Snapshots
Minecraft snapshots are only available in the Java Version of the game. With this version, you can start current snapshots directly from the launcher. Go to the “Installations” tab and select “Snapshots” in the upper right corner. Now you should see several snapshots to choose from. Following the concepts of how Minecraft snapshots are named, it should be easy to find the current version and launch it immediately.
Tip: At G-Portal, the installation of a snapshot on a Minecraft server works similarly easy. You can also check out our video tutorial on how to install Minecraft snapshots!
Due to the incompleteness of snapshots, unforeseen issues can quickly occur, so you should either back up your game world beforehand or simply use a test world. Otherwise, you might risk your save file.
How to Report Bugs
For curious and impatient players, the MC snapshots come in handy to shorten the waiting time until the next update. However, another purpose behind this is to find and fix bugs early. With this in mind, Mojang has set up an “Issue Tracker” where you can report all bugs and glitches from:
- Minecraft snapshots
- even finished versions
Thus, you can support the development of the game. Make sure, however, to choose the right edition of the game and to report each found bug individually.
Conclusion: Minecraft Snapshots
Whether you want to satisfy your curiosity or contribute something, whether you want to relieve boredom or point your digital finger at bugs: There is a way in Minecraft. Snapshots will probably be released for a long time to come since they have proven themselves to be useful for both players and developers. You missed the latest Minecraft snapshot? Well, it is really easy to give it a try on a Minecraft server from G-Portal. We wish you a lot of fun with all the updates that may come!